“Captivating Sci-Fi Trilogy: The Three-Body Problem”


The Three-Body Problem, written by Cixin Liu and translated by Ken Liu, is a highly acclaimed science fiction trilogy that has garnered significant attention in the genre. With a product rating of 4.3 out of 5 and over 41,867 reviews, this series has piqued the curiosity of many readers. In this review, I will share my personal experience with the first book and offer a conclusion based on my thoughts.

When I finally picked up The Three-Body Problem after it had sat on my Kindle for two years, I was immediately drawn into a world that felt both familiar and completely different. The story, set in China during the Cultural Revolution, provided a unique backdrop that I hadn’t encountered before in science fiction. Liu’s portrayal of the characters, although somewhat reminiscent of Golden Age science fiction, managed to breathe new life into the genre.

One of the standout aspects of the series is the portrayal of truly alien beings. Liu’s universe is filled with danger and hostility, with aliens who possess advanced technology capable of folding space and destroying entire solar systems. The scientific imagination displayed by Liu is impressive, even if some concepts may stretch the boundaries of current physics. The constant threat of annihilation and the complex interplay between civilizations create a sense of tension and mystery that kept me engaged throughout.

An Introduction to “The Three-Body Problem” Trilogy

The “Three-Body Problem” trilogy, written by Cixin Liu and translated by Ken Liu, has garnered significant attention and praise in the science fiction genre. With a rating of 4.3 out of 5 and over 41,867 reviews, this trilogy has captivated readers around the world.

A Blend of Golden Age Sci-Fi and Cultural Revolution

The first book, “The Three-Body Problem,” takes readers on a journey through the Cultural Revolution in China. Liu expertly blends elements of Golden Age science fiction with historical events, creating a unique and immersive reading experience. The characters, although reminiscent of one-dimensional scientists from the Golden Age era, offer a refreshing mix of men and women. This setting provides a backdrop for Liu’s imaginative universe, where aliens are truly alien and pose a grave threat to humanity.

A Universe of Unpredictability and Extraordinary Technology

Liu’s universe is a hostile and dangerous place, where aliens possess weapons capable of folding space and destroying entire solar systems. His scientific imagination shines through, with concepts such as protons containing artificial intelligences. While some of these ideas may stretch the bounds of current physics, they create a captivating narrative that keeps readers engaged. The aliens’ ruthless approach to eliminating any civilization that may pose a threat adds a sense of urgency and suspense to the trilogy.

A Different and Refreshing Reading Experience

What sets the “Three-Body Problem” trilogy apart is its uniqueness. Liu has crafted a story that diverges from traditional science fiction tropes, offering readers something fresh and thought-provoking. For neophiles and avid science fiction enthusiasts, this trilogy is a must-read. The blend of history, hard sci-fi, and Liu’s intricate world-building make this series a captivating and hauntingly beautiful experience.

The Hype and Expectations

With the hype surrounding the trilogy, it’s important to manage expectations. While many consider it a groundbreaking addition to the sci-fi genre, some readers may find the main plot less intriguing than the segments exploring China’s cultural revolution. Additionally, the books delve into complex scientific concepts, making it more suitable for fans of hard sci-fi. However, for those who enjoy nerding out to these ideas and exploring the depths of imaginative storytelling, the “Three-Body Problem” trilogy offers a satisfying experience.

Translations and Visual Adaptations

The translation by Ken Liu is commendable, capturing the tone and essence of the original story. The seamless translation allows English readers to fully appreciate the depth and content of Liu’s work. Furthermore, the trilogy has gained enough popularity to warrant a Netflix adaptation, which will provide a visual representation of the intricate concepts and world-building.

A Profound Impact and a Journey Ahead

The “Three-Body Problem” trilogy has left a lasting impression on readers, challenging the conventions of alien invasion narratives and exploring a multitude of scientific disciplines. Cixin Liu’s background in engineering lends a touch of realism to his imaginative concepts, making them all the more captivating. The horror elements in the series are executed uniquely, adding to the overall appeal. With two more books in the trilogy, “The Dark Forest” and “Death’s End,” readers will continue to be enthralled by Liu’s storytelling prowess and the fascinating world he has created.

A Must-Read for Science Fiction Enthusiasts

In conclusion, “The Three-Body Problem” trilogy is a must-read for fans of science fiction. Its unique blend of history, hard sci-fi, and imaginative storytelling offers a refreshing and captivating reading experience. From the exploration of China’s cultural revolution to the depiction of a hostile and dangerous universe, Cixin Liu’s trilogy pushes the boundaries of the genre. Whether you’re a neophile seeking something different or an avid sci-fi enthusiast, this trilogy will leave a lasting impression.


  • The Three-Body Problem is a unique blend of history and hard science fiction, offering a fresh and intriguing take on the genre.
  • The author, Cixin Liu, incorporates elements of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, making the story feel nostalgic for readers familiar with that era.
  • The universe and aliens created by Liu are truly alien, adding a sense of wonder and danger to the story.


  • The book may not be suitable for readers who are not fans of hard science fiction, as it contains detailed explanations of complex scientific concepts.
  • Some readers may find the pacing slow in certain parts of the book, particularly during the segments set in China’s cultural revolution.
  • While the translation by Ken Liu is well done, there may be some nuances or cultural references that are lost in translation.


    In conclusion, The Three-Body Problem is a captivating and unique science fiction trilogy that offers a fresh take on the genre. While it may not be for everyone, especially those who are not fans of hard sci-fi or prefer more character-driven narratives, the series has a lot to offer for those who enjoy thought-provoking and imaginative storytelling. With its blend of history, hard sci-fi concepts, and intense plotlines, this trilogy has left a lasting impression on me. I highly recommend giving it a read, especially for readers who crave something different and are willing to dive into a world filled with alien encounters and existential challenges.

    Questions & Answers:

    Question: Is The Three-Body Problem a good book for fans of science fiction?

    Answer: Yes, The Three-Body Problem offers a unique and imaginative take on the genre, especially for readers who enjoy hard science fiction and are open to exploring complex scientific concepts.

    Question: Does the book have a strong plot and engaging characters?

    Answer: The plot of The Three-Body Problem is intriguing and thought-provoking, and while the characters may feel somewhat one-dimensional, they serve their purpose in driving the story forward.

    Question: Should I read the entire trilogy or just the first book?

    Answer: If you enjoy the first book and are captivated by the universe and ideas presented, it is highly recommended to continue reading the entire trilogy, as it delves deeper into the story and expands upon the concepts introduced in The Three-Body Problem.

    Leave a Comment